MEDFORD, Wis. — Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) is thrilled to begin work on their $4,770,000 Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities award – ‘Implementing Precision Ag Tech to Expand the Participation of Small Grazing Dairy Farms in Climate-Smart Commodities’. This project will enable small dairy producers to access climate-smart grazing technology and engage in a climate-smart marketplace for their products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities, is investing $325 million into 71 projects that will expand markets for American producers who produce climate-smart commodities, leverage greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart production, and provide meaningful benefits to producers, including small and underserved producers.
Through the Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities grant, DGA will provide technical assistance and $900,000 of direct payment to small-scale dairy farmers to implement climate-smart grazing management. This network of 30 farms will be equipped with PaddockTrac technology and serve as training sites, enabling Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) to aid producers in expanding their positive climate impacts while generating revenue. Dairy farmers interested in engaging with this project are encouraged to visit www.dga-national.org/usda-csc to learn more about the project and to complete an application.
“DGA is ready to dive into this project and bring managed grazing practices to the forefront”, says DGA Executive Director, Joseph Tomandl, III. “We have an amazing network of dairy farms and partner organizations that areready to get this work rolling to model what managed grazing dairy systems can really accomplish for climate and for the dairy industry.”
Project partner organizations include: Institute of Food Technologists, Steil Ventures, Cedar Grove Cheese, Painterland Sisters, Uplands Cheese, Dillon Analytics, and University of Missouri.
Sarah Ficken, DGA Grants Manager says, “We have the team and the partners in place to drive this project ahead and start making true impacts for our climate and our producers.”
Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA), is a National Apprenticeship registered with the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration. The two-year program combines 3700 hours of on-farm employment and training under an approved Mentor Dairy Grazier with 300 hours of related instruction, including classes delivered online through DGA’s Managed Grazing Innovation Center. Graduates are certified Journey Dairy Graziers and may advance into management, equity earning and farm transfer.
— Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship